The future of this year’s NBA Playoffs is uncertain after the three teams boycotted Game 5 on Wednesday. Milwaukee Bucks first decided not to show up in the court to protest racial injustice after the shooting of a black man named Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Soon after, Houston Rockets, OKC Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trailblazers too decided not to play. Bucks’ bold move has now triggered similar action across sports.
Naomi Osaka, a two-times Grand Slam champion withdrew her participation in the semi-finals of Western and Southern Open. Wednesday’s games in the Women’s NBA, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer were also either boycotted or postponed.
Milwaukee Bucks later issued a statement claiming that they weren’t able to focus on the game due to the Kenosha incident. Bucks are based in Wisconsin, and the shooting took place in their home state of Wisconsin. The team mentioned that there had been overwhelming protests and plea for the change, but still, no action has been taken to change the situation. The police officers shot seven times in the back of Jacob Blake when Blake tried to open his car’s door. Blake’s sons were in the back seat of the SUV and witnessed the shooting of their father.
I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. pic.twitter.com/rUGETgAt7P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2020
Players demand the league owners take more action.
The event took place on August 23, 2020, when the officers responded to domestic violence near Kenosha. Wisconsin Department of Justice reported that the officers recovered a knife from Blake’s car. Blake also admitted to possessing a knife. The department recently revealed the name of the police officer who shot Jacob Blake. The 29-year-old police officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot Blake multiple times in the back. As of now, no charges have been filed against the police officer.
Several players, Hall of Famers, and popular celebrity supported Bucks decision to boycott Game 5. The former president of the United States, Barack Obama even praised the team for standing up for what they believe. The players and coaches at Disneyland Bubble later conducted an impromptu meeting to discuss the future plans of the NBA Playoffs. However, the meeting failed to reach the consensus. The players from Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers voted to boycott whole NBA Playoffs, but other players wanted to continue playing.